Molly Shivnan had not won a medal at two previous national swimming championships.
But she was feeling confident about her chances at the New Zealand Short Course Champs held earlier this month in Auckland, after upping her training regime and producing quick times at warm-up meets.
That confidence was well founded, as the 13-year-old, from the Mount Maunganui Swimming Club, won six medals, with two silver, three bronze and a gold in the 50m Freestyle in the girls' 13-years events.
The key to her dramatic improvement came down to working harder with her coach Scott Bartlett.
"I had made a couple of finals in the past but never medalled or anything," Molly said.
"I kind of just got into training fully and I focused 100 per cent when I was at training. I just tried really hard and if it was a hard set or whatever, I would not just give up and would keep going and think about what I wanted to achieve later on.
"I definitely increased my training and I reckon Scott has had a huge impact on me getting what I have got.
"He knows what I want to do and what my weaknesses and strengths are. He helped me through those, which was so important."
Molly, who attended Mount Maunganui College and had been at the Mount swim club since she was 10, liked competing in all the swimming strokes.
"[50m Freestyle] is one of my favourite events. I like it because it is just so quick and short, a full-on sprint race, but I also like the IM [Individual Medley]
"I like to do all the strokes and to mix it up a bit."
Ayla Redshaw, 13, was another star for the Mount club, winning silver medals in the 200 Freestyle and 400 Freestyle for her first taste of national success.
"The best thing about it was I have just moved to Mount Maunganui six months ago," the Otumoetai Intermediate student said.
"I had competed at NZ Juniors twice before but I didn't make it into finals and I didn't do very well.
"The good thing about the Mount is the environment of people. It sets off a positive vibe and stuff. You want to go to training, not wake up and 'I don't want to go'.
"You want to go to swimming. It's too early but okay let's do it. It is so important to have that motivation to want to get up and train."
Molly and Ayla's performances were the crowning achievement for the small team of six swimmers from the club, with Tom Scott, Noah van Odunarn, Connor Swanberg and Bella Akroyd all achieving personal best times and improving their national rankings.
Coach Bartlett said consistency over the winter was a big factor in his team's success.
"We had a lot of targeted meets that they went and attended so they got a good base of fitness up.
"Right through the [Bay of Plenty] area we have good coaches leading the programmes at all the swimming clubs around the zone.
"If you have that then good results flow."